Innovative Approaches to Repair Applications with Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing Technology (WAAM)

Foreword:

The manufacturing industry is constantly searching for innovative solutions with the advancement of technological developments. In this quest, the rise of Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technology in metal part production in recent years is noteworthy. WAAM is one of the metal 3D printing techniques that build parts layer upon layer by depositing welding wire. However, WAAM not only offers opportunities in manufacturing but also presents exciting prospects in repair applications. This article, therefore, will examine the significance and advantages of repair applications with WAAM technology.

“Advantages of Repair Applications with WAAM”

Sustainability: WAAM can perform repairs while minimizing material loss. This reduces waste and enables us to use resources more efficiently.

Cost-effectiveness: Compared to traditional repair methods, repairs done with WAAM are often faster and more cost-effective. As the technology becomes more widespread, the cost advantage of WAAM-based repairs becomes even more pronounced.

Rapid Solutions: Thanks to its ability to efficiently produce complex geometries, WAAM can expedite repairs. This shortens production times and enhances operational efficiency.

Flexibility: WAAM can perform repairs on different materials and various part geometries, offering various applications across multiple industries.

WAAM Part, DED Part, Invar 36 Part, Metal Additive Manufacturing, WAAM Dome Shape Mold Part, Aerospace Mold Part

“Advantages of Repair Applications with WAAM”

Reverse Engineering: This method is used to understand the design, functionality, and structure of an existing part or system. In the repair process, reverse engineering plays a crucial role in analyzing a damaged part, identifying the presence of damage, and planning the repair process. Identifying damaged areas through 3D scanning of the part helps to determine the areas where deposition will be performed.

Comprehensive Analysis and Evaluation: This step forms the foundation of the repair process. It is essential to determine the origin, size, and type of damage. Factors such as part geometry, material, function, and kind of damage are thoroughly examined. Different types of damage, such as cracks, corrosion, or wear, may require various repair techniques. Therefore, relying on this information to determine the correct repair strategy is critical.

Reliable Material Selection: Selecting the repair material is critical. A material with similar or better properties than the original part should be chosen. Material compatibility is a decisive factor for part functionality and durability. WAAM offers a wide variety of materials, utilizing welding wire as the deposition material.

WAAM, Repairing, Cladding

Process Optimization: The processes used for the repair operation must be carefully optimized. The welding or additional processes should be chosen to preserve the part’s properties and achieve the desired results most effectively.

Repair Strategy Decision: A proper repair strategy should be determined based on the type of damage, the part’s intended use, and its design characteristics. This strategy includes determining which methods to use, what materials to use, and which processes to apply. In robotic WAAM systems, one of the most critical steps is creating the robot toolpath according to the part geometry and process parameters. MetalWorm’s robotic offline programming facilitates all these processes, enabling direct transition to the repair process.

Quality Control and Testing: After the repair process is completed, comprehensive tests should be conducted to ensure the part’s quality. Contact and non-contact measurements are to be used for dimensional and geometrical checks. Non-destructive testing methods can be used to qualify the integrity and durability of the repaired part.

Documentation and Tracking: It is important to thoroughly document and record the processes performed during the repair process. This provides reference points for future analyses and ensures traceability. MetalWorm’s proprietary software records all data throughout the production process and can be used in reporting and documentation.

Post-Process: Processes such as heat treatment can eliminate residual stresses on the material. The part can be machined with subtractive manufacturing to achieve the desired surface tolerances.

“Summary”

WAAM repair applications are gaining significant traction in the manufacturing industry and are expected to become even more widespread in the future. With advantages such as sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and rapid solutions, WAAM will play a crucial role in the future of repairs and manufacturing. Therefore, it is essential for manufacturing companies to closely monitor WAAM technology and incorporate it into their repair processes as well as part geometry revisions.